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This pages details the history of the New England region since the Chaos. For a detailed overview of the region and the states within, see that page. As one of the United States' oldest clearly defined regions, the region has hundreds of years of diverse and interesting history. The region was originally hope to many Native American tribes, before later being settled by primarily English colonists, including English Pilgrims and Puritans, fleeing religious persecution in England. By the eve of the chaos the region of New England would distinguish itself as the center of the United States' intellectual and abolitionist movements.
After the chaos the region used its rich arsenal of natural resources and man made stockpiles to fuel a bloody conflict of primarily unknown origin. War, disease, and famine would all contribute to the collapse of society in the region, and the eventual removal of the region's once treasured industrial capabilities. The region would be briefly united for the last time under the Kingdom of New England, but internal conflict and a growing local identity in individual towns and cities contributed to its downfall. Today the region of New England is home to a number of distinct and conflicting religions and ethnic groups, as well as dozens of states spread across its landscape.
- Main Article: Pre Chaos History of New England
Before the arrival of European settlers the region of New England was inhabited by Eastern Algonguian natives, with prominent tribes including the Abenaki, Penobscot, Pequot, Mohegans, Narragansett, Pocumtuck, and Wampanoag. The largest of these tribes, the Abenakis inhabited parts of New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont, as well as parts of Quebec and western Maine, with their principal town being Norridgewock, in the United States state of Maine.
The first European settlers to colonize the area were the English, following a charter by King James I to the London and Plymouth Virginia Companies, issued 10 April 1606. In 1620 the town of Plymouth was founded in Massachusetts, settled by the Pilgrims from the Mayflower, becoming the first permanent European settlement in New England. The name New England would be coined by English explorer John Smith in 1616, becoming officially sanctioned on 3 November 1620 when the charter of the Virginia Company of Plymouth was replaced by a royal charter for the Plymouth Council for New England.
During the chaos the former states of New England's manufacturing and industrial capabilities collapsed, with many factories and manufacturers being reduced to rubble. Over the first few years of the chaos much of New England's military power would also be expended, with naval and army units of the former United States military being disbanded or destroyed.
By the mid to late nineteenth century many of New England's remaining inhabitants of major urban areas such as Boston fled north into the less populated and rural Vermont and New Hampshire. Old cities had become major centers of disease, with war-torn districts and destruction helping to weaken citizens in the long run. Cities were often heavily fought over using the last remnants of old world technology, making them very dangerous targets for attacks and conflicts. By the late nineteenth century the city of Boston, once New England's largest city, was heavily damaged and ruined. The civilian population unable or unwilling to flee eventually replaced the city's former bombed out brick buildings with wooden apartment complexes and shacks, which were prone to fires in the crowded and congested districts. Livestock on the outskirts of the city, which had been heavily stockpiled during the chaos by warlords and military personnel, eventually broke free in many places, roaming the city's uninhabited regions, feasting on the city's parks and overgrowth.
The city of Boston that existed by the end of the chaos is believed to have been entirely from new materials within the former city of Boston. Many houses would be constructed in the city's former roads, hoping to use the brick for foundations. This would create many twisting and crowded streets and alleys. Crime was prevalent in the city, with criminals utilizing the dark, confusing streets to corner victims. The occupation of scavenger also became popular in the outskirts of the city, with many harvesting building materials from former city landmarks to construct new projects.
Similar destruction occurred in other major cities across the region, with a large portion of the population being killed from war, disease, and famine, and another portion of the population migrating to the outskirts of cities or further north to pursue an agrarian lifestyle or escape the destruction. With food short following the lack of imports from the rest of the former United States, many in the New England region starved, especially in big cities during the winter months of the year during the chaos.
In the later half of the chaos and the early years after, migrating families concentrated in a series of locations, forming the basis of modern urban areas. The first major towns arose around wealthy patrons who were able to establish their manor as a well fortified and well defensible focal point. Many migrating New England inhabitants were attracted to these manors, finding protection from the chaos among the private armies of these wealthy patrons. In order to supply each manor, their settlers became farmers, creating new fields across New England. Eventually manors' owners would become landed lords and royalty, laying the foundation for a feudal society, with stronger lords eventually uniting several major settlements.
A series of isolated nation states arose across New England's less densely populated areas, eventually creating the basis of ethnic identities. Groups of towns cut off from another from lack of trade and communication would create complex communities and diplomatic relationships, hindering any attempt to unify the region under one banner.
The first conflict in New England would arise from the heavy migration following the chaos and subsequent settlement of nomad people. In Massachusetts many nation states came to overlap, causing bloody struggles over valuable resources and land. Towns in this area would also be prone to raids from nomadic people fleeing Boston and other major cities, which often raided smaller less well defended towns for supplies. Out of necessity towns became heavily fortified, usually centered around a central hold or keep, or any large gathering area easily defended. For the first time feudal lords would also create a levy system to muster forces from the fields to defend their territory and fight with neighboring areas. Equipment and weaponry during this time period would be provided by the lords. A westward road from Boston would arise, running along ancient roads from before the Chaos, marking the path of refugees, but at the same time connecting each city state with a usable but derelict road system. Despite the presence of this network, trade was scarce, with each hold preferring to work independently and not risk contact with outside powers or possibly hostile forces.
Settlers fleeing north from Boston and Massachusetts eventually overwhelmed native New Hampshire inhabitants in the south of the state. The struggle between native northerners and the immigrating settlers would eventually boil over into a series of conflicts. Several major towns and cities in New Hampshire, such as Nashua, would be briefly owned or invaded by Massachusetts nations over the course of its post chaos history, eventually creating a culture of Bostonian and local ideals known as Bay Culture. The Bay inhabitants would spread to the city of Boston, Portsmouth, and southern New Hampshire, heavily influenced by a lifestyle dependent on the Massachusetts Bay.
The first major conflict between Bay Staters and native New Hampshire arose in the town of Nashua, a town crowded with fleeing settlers and native peoples alike. Its position north of Boston and its less defensible fortifications compared to Manchester or Merrimack made the town a prized target for many raiding parties and groups from Massachusetts. n 1877 a large Bay Stater faction recently pushed out of the south marched on Nashua. The group was under the command of John Fayerweather, an unlanded lord seeking to carve a Bay state in New Hampshire and establish an independent nation for his posterity.
Fayerweather surrounded the town, waiting several days before launching his main assault. During this period skirmishers in the invading army did battle against small contingents of forces, raiding farms on the edge of the town and killing as many native New Hampshire inhabitants as possible. On 19 April 1877 the Battle of Nashua began, with Fayerweather leading his army in a direct assault of the town's levies. The native army was almost entirely untrained peasants, lightly clothed and armed with makeshift or cheap weaponry. Although possessing high mobility, the inexperience of the native troops made them an overall crude and unrefined army. On the other hand Fayerweather's forces consisted of a small percentage of soldiers from Massachusetts, supported by Bay Stater raiders and peasants. The invaders did possess on average higher degrees of training, although lacked proper training as cohesive units. Although experienced in battle Fayerweather's troops had yet to achieve any real major victories, leaving Fayerweather himself untested.
The assault on Nashua began in mid morning, with Fayerweather's forces charging toward the town with the Merrimack River on their right flank. The native soldiers were largely shattered at first by the charge, but managed to hold the line and delay the advance. The natives would also attempt a flank from the west, however Fayerweather's most experienced and well trained soldiers guarded the flank, defeating the west detachment. Fayerweather ordered his men to pursue the fleeing detachment west back into the city, eventually causing the remaining native forces to rout.
Having decisively defeated the native New Hampshire inhabitants, Fayerweather marched triumphantly into the city. That night looting and pillaging ensued, although Fayerweather ordered the pillaging be kept light, as he hoped he could eventually assimilate the natives and establish the town as a prosperous center for his forces to settle. Fayerweather's army, accompanied by an elaborate wagon train of civilians and livestock, settled in the outskirts of the town. Nashua would rise to become the first major Bay Stater nation in the south of New Hampshire, and would spend much of its existence fighting against cities such as Manchester to survive.
Kingdom of New England
By the late nineteenth century the strongest nation in the chaos-ridden New England became the Governorship of Worcester. Created through years of conquest and constant war, led by William B. Washburn, a former politician before the chaos. It is believed at some point after the chaos Washburn was elected or selected through divine right to be dictator for life, but struggling to defend the city of Boston, ordered it be abandoned. The city of Boston would ultimately collapse, and Washburn rode out of the city with one of the region's largest armies. They marched west, laying siege to the city of Worcester. The city was in a similar state to Boston, but with numerous factions fighting for control in the city. It is theorized that Washburn possessed advanced weaponry since lost to time, including a device capable of "channeling the wrath of god". Washburn's large army quickly forced the surrender of the city, and once inside he ordered the execution of all dissidents.
Believing Washburn to be some prophet of god, or some divine being, many flocked to his city, or surrendered their town to him with little fight. In 1879 Washburn received word however that the city of Cambridge, which had developed a technology oriented society, questioned this notion of right to rule. Washburn marched immediately on the city, razing most of it to the ground. The intellectuals in the city were killed, and the great library that the city had gathered, was burned.
With much of central Massachusetts secured, Washburn marched on Providence, the capital of a unified presidency consisting of much of the surrounding area. Isolated and cut off from much of the surrounding area, Providence held a series of strong defenses, as well as a long army and navy, which Washburn sought to capture. On 25 March 1879 Washburn engaged against Providence forces outside the town of Uxbridge. The Providence forces had attempted to cut off Washburn's supply lines while marching east, causing Washburn to counter march his forces south toward Uxbridge.
Initially, Washburn selected what appeared to be unfavorable ground, taking the Providence forces by surprise, who then elected to hold their position, while Washburn's infantry took up defensive positions. Unknown to them Washburn personally led his best cavalry against the Providence left up against the hills, and cut up the enemy on the less encumbering terrain and thereby generating a quick rout. After achieving a breakthrough on the left, Washburn managed to direct the difficult task of keeping the cavalry in check while engaged on the Providence flank. Washburn then led a direct assault against the enemey. The Providence troops, realizing they had lost, either surrendered or fled with their hapless leaders. Washburn's cavalry pursued the fleeing forces for as long as there was light. Remaining forces on the battlefield were pursued and slaughtered, as Washburn marched into the town.
Providence forces from across the nation fell back toward the city to defend against Washburn's attack, creating a large defense force. The siege lasted for two months, with the forces inside finally succumbing to a direct assault on 1 June 1879. In exchange for sparing the inhabitants, the military of the city swore fealty to Washburn, pledging to fight for him. Providence's leaders however were executed.
To earn the trust of the captured and refitted Providence units, Washburn next marched on New Bedford, Providence's sworn enemy and rival. With a large navy at his command, Washburn ordered a naval assault of the area. Knowing well that a direct confrontation with the entire New Bedford navy would be a costly battle, the Providence ships were ordered to raid trade ships and smaller vessels, harassing the enemy ships and trade routs as much as possible. His navy and a few units of infantry launched an assault on Edgartown, taking the island of Martha's Vineyard after a swift siege. This drew much of the New Bedford navy away from the city, and when Washburn surrounded New Bedford he was able to take the city.
With the fall of the city on 28 June 1879, much of the remaining navy and surrounding towns surrendered to Washburn. The remnants of the New Bedford navy had fled to Nantucket, engaging in a deadly battle on the high seas against Edgartown, while the port of Falmouth and the surrounding coast still needed to be pacified. Past that to the east, the now hostile Governorship of Cape Cod pledged support against Washburn. On 1 July 1879 Washburn besieged the town of Wareham, receiving its surrender four days later. With its navy at his disposal, Washburn marched east. On 7 July Washburn engaged with Cape soldiers and remnants of the New Beford at the Battle of Bourne. The Cape soldiers believed that by mobilizing quickly they could trap Washburn in the small entrance into Cape Cod, as well as stop him before reaching Falmouth.
Washburn was outnumbered, but his enemy was also less organized and possessed no cavalry. The Cape forces selected the field of battle, positioning themselves with their best infantry in the center. Washburn began the battle by ordering his infantry to march in forward in formation towards the center of the enemy line. The Cape forces attempted to cut off this march, but were cut off by Washburn's cavalry and routed. Washburn, while leading the charge, formed his units into a giant wedge, which quickly smashed right into the weakened Cape center. Believing their leader had been killed, the Cape forces panicked, and their line eventually collapsed. The Cape forces fled east and south, now forced to make a defense against Washburn's invasion.
The naval forces on Nantucket headed west attempting to intercept part of Washburn's navy during the Battle of Falmouth. One of Washburn's largest ships however had been outfitted with "Massachusetts Fire", some sort of unknown device capable of starting fire on enemy ships. The Nantucket navy moved around Martha's Vineyard, arriving north of the Vineyard Sound Harbor, where they engaged with a small local force. Washburn's navy arrived, engaging trapping the enemy there on the northern point of the island. In the Battle of West Chop, Washburn's forces successfully annihilated the Nantucket navy, taking moderate casualties themselves. Massachusetts Fire had proven to be a deadly weapon, incinerating several ships, although damaging the prototype ship to some degree. With Nantucket silent, the navy headed north to engage Falmouth from the sea.
Meanwhile on land Washburn had led his forces south, receiving the surrender of numerous communities as he advanced toward Falmouth. Light fighting ensued along the coast, but most of the enemy force was marched immediately into Falmouth to set up a defense. On 16 July 1879 Washburn arrived in the city, beginning a siege. Supported by sea, the city was easily bombarded, and after days of fighting the defending forces' morale dropped heavily. The defenders decided to make one last assault against Washburn, marching outside the city and engaging his flank. Washburn quickly reacted, wrapping his forces around the attack and cutting off the defenders. The remaining force was now separated, with a detachment in the fort of Woods Hole, which protected the Great Harbor and the route toward Martha's Vineyard, and the other half in Falmouth Heights.
Washburn launched an assault into the city, surrounding the keep and finally forcing its surrender on 30 July 1879. Woods Hole would be taken two days later by sea. With the fall of Falmouth, Washburn effectively controlled all of western Cape Cod, causing the final collapse of the Governorship of New Bedford. The Cape forces fled east toward Yarmouth and Barnstable. Washburn continued his advance east, first assaulting Barnstable. The Cape forces put up a costly defense, hoping to defend their capital. On 14 August 1879 the Governor of Cape Cod launched an attack to try and push Washburn out of the city, but would be slain in battle.
The Governorship fragmented, with Barnstable being captured, and a remnant of its government fleeing for Provincetown, a town loyal to the governor's family. Yarmouth and a few other towns fragmented into their individual counties, having no choice but to defend for themselves. Yarmouth, the last major city in resistance on the cape surrendered on 29 August after a brief siege. Washburn then advanced east into Brewster and then the narrow cape in the east. Now blockaded on land, Provincetown was then surrounded by sea, falling to Washburn's navy on 8 September.
In Septemeber Washburn left Cape Cod, having successfully won the Cape Campaign. He headed west, next marching on the town of Plymouth, which had initially supported New Bedford and the Cape economically in their defense against him. Washburn had his attention set on the city of Boston, and sought to capture it to give legitimacy to his reign. The city of Plymouth, which Washburn viewed as a holy and historical city, would also be essential, and Washburn planned to march north from the city all the way to Boston.
Much of the region between Wareham and Plymouth would be raided by Washburn, capturing valuable supplies to fuel his advance and heavily demoralizing the Plymouth defenders. On 20 September the city fell to Washburn, and became the starting point of the march north. At least four local chiefs resisted Washburn, the most predominant being the leader of Quincy, who had just recently conquered the city from the many fighting factions outside Boston. Rather than risk separate sieges against them, the independent towns of the coast organized into a loose confederacy under Richard Fennessy, pooling their allied armies to fight Washburn on a united front. The army was slow to mobilize and was very disorganized, with many local forces retaining petty grudges and disputes with neighboring towns.
Washburn used the disorganized nature of the local forces against them, targeting their leaders. Washburn knew that if the leader of the confederacy fell each army would return to its primitive, separate form. At the Battle of Kingston a small detachment was sent by Washburn to Silver Lake, which would then attack from the north, surrounding the confederacy's army. After a brief battle the defenders attempted to abandon the city and retreat north to a more defensible position, but were cut off by Washburn's advanced troops. In the ensuing chaos Fennessy would be thrown from his horse and killed, causing the confederate army to fall apart. For their resistance, Washburn ordered the execution of most of the army, and Kingstown was occupied. Losing the majority of its army, the coastal cities surrendered, with the last resisting city being Quincy.
Washburn arrived at the outskirts of Quincy of 28 September, and wished to capture Boston by winter. The forces of Quincy, under the command of Governor Thomas Laforest marched outside the city to the edge of his territory, engaging Washburn directly. The battle proved to be tough, as both sides were adequately experienced and organized. As Laforest charged on Washburn to the east, a secondary army under Washburn arrived from the south, engaging Laforest on two sides. Eventually Washburn managed to close the gap between the city, trapping Laforest on all sides. Laforest fell back and made a last stand between the Weymouth Back River and the Towns River Bay. Him and his loyal forces would be slaughtered on the edge of the water, with the victorious Washburn advancing into Quincy.
Battle of Boston
The people of Quincy were quelled by Washburn's forces, and his army would spend a few weeks there preparing for the invasion of Boston. With the city of Boston now right before him, Washburn marched against the city on 20 November 1879. The city was in disorder with multiple factions fighting for power. Most city districts had their own allegiances and their own armies, which fought in the crowded and destroyed city streets. The Siege of Boston would take three months of urban fighting, including a siege to take the inside keep, which alone would take a few weeks. By December 1879 Washburn was able to secure the southern portions of the city and create his own fortifications, allowing his soldiers a fort to garrison. The largest fort would be in the former campus of the University of Massachusetts-Boston, which was built up with walls and other defenses.
In early 1880 the Siege of Fort Port concluded, with Washburn capturing the eastern section of Boston. A deadly fight to take Boston proper then ensued, ending with the securing of the city as far as the Charles River by the end of January. In late January and early February Washburn crossed the Charles River, relieving a siege of allied Cambridge and taking back the surrounding area. Marching north from Cambridge, Somerville would fall by 9 February. One of the last remaining major enemies of Washburn would be Mayor Daniel Keefe of Chelsea, who prepared to defend his territory at all costs. The Mayor's army would be positioned on the banks of the surrounding rivers, prepared to attack any attempted crossing. Washburn sent a portion of his military to capture Revere and surround the Mayor's holdings, traveling along the east bank of the Chelsea. Outnumbered and cut off from the main force further south, Washburn's advanced forces would spend two weeks wrapping around Chelsea. Surrounded by Everett and Revere, the detachment was suffering heavy casualties in the advance.
Washburn had no choice but to send forces across the river toward Everett. His infantry upon arriving on the shore charged against a detachment of scouting enemy forces from Everett, chasing them away and allowing Washburn to advance toward Everett. At the Battle of Everett Washburn would meet the main defending army and connect his detachment back to his main army. After a brief battle which routed the Everett army, the commander in Everett would surrender, allowing Washburn to march on Chelsea. Caught off guard by the attack, Chelsea was easily surrounded and crushed, with Keefe being killed in the final push into the Chelsea Square.
With much of Boston now under his control, on 11 March 1880 Washburn was crowned Grand President of New England in the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, beginning the Grand Presidency of New England. Leaving a garrison in Boston, Washburn marched back home to Worcester, which he established as his capital, and began planning further unification of his empire. Washburn hoped to unify the known world, creating an empire reaching as far north as Maine to Connecticut, and would spend the rest of his life fighting to achieve this goal.
On 18 April Washburn departed from Worcester, departing for Southbridge, the southern most major town under his control in Massachusetts. He planned to subjugate the region of Connecticut, which at the time consisted of a number of powerful but disunited governorships. First he marched south into the Governorship of Norwich, which controlled as far north as Woodstock. Washburn would pass through a number of farming towns which surrendered with little to no resistance, allowing Washburn to quickly advance south. On 25 April Washburn was attacked by Count Abel Forsyth of Plainsfield just a few miles outside the town. The attack came as a surprise and initially Forsyth was able to inflict moderate casualties against Washburn's forces. Since Washburn's forces were still in marching formations, they were unable to maneuver or prepare. Washburn quickly called his men to fall back. By the time Forsyth was able to organize his forces much of Washburn's forces had pulled back, and by the time he was able to pursue, Washburn was more prepared for battle. Forsyth's lines were readily attacked, with both sides suffering casualties. Washburn's forces, being more experienced and well trained, were eventually able to overtake the mostly peasant army, causing Forsyth to retreat. Plainsfield was abandoned and later taken by the advancing invaders, with Forsyth retreating to Jewett City.
By this time an army under the command of the Governorship had been ordered north from Norwich, meeting up with regional armies from Jewett City, Voluntown, and Forsyth's fleeing army. The Norwich forces thought it best to defend the Pachaug River and the many waterways surrounding Jewett City, and at the ensuing Battle of the Pachaug Crossing, put up a commendable defense. Spread thin however, the defending lines would eventually be penetrated by the invaders, causing routs throughout. A large detachment of Washburn's army entered Clayville and the northern outskirts of the Jewett City, defending the hill from assaults on all sides from defenders on the Quinebaug River and the Ashland Pond. Skirmishers would also cross the Hopeville Pond on the east, eventually causing the defenders to flee.
Washburn followed the Quinebaug River on its eastern shore, passing through Preston after a brief skirmish. On 27 April Washburn was at the doorstep of Norwich. His main army had followed the river, arriving south of Norwich, while a secondary army had crossed several miles north, engaging a small enemy army at Taftville. The Battle of Taftsville would be a brief battle, with the Norwich forces fleeing south. Eventually all defenders on the river would flee, allowing Washburn's secondary army to advance south and enter Norwich from the north. On 29 April the city fell to Washburn, officially conquering the governorship.
The fall of Norwich caused panic across Connecticut. The remaining major nations of the region prepared for war, knowing that Washburn could attack at any moment. On 3 May a meeting was called in Hartford by Governor Henry Hopkins to create a unified front in the region. Known as the Coalition of Hartford, the alliance was created between Hopkins and his son James Hopkins of Middleton, and Governor Jonathan Law of New Haven. Governor Joseph Griswold of Bridgeport was also contacted, but pressed with war in the south, Griswold was forced to remain neutral in the conflict. Each coalition member mobilized their levies over the next several days, meeting in Middletown.
In the south the city of Norwich under Washburn still faced harassment from several cities on the coast. On 4 May the Lesser Governorship of New London and the Sound was founded by several mayors in New London, selecting George Cross of New London as their first governor. The state was unrecognized by Washburn and many others, as it claimed most of east Connecticut and west Rhode Island. New London also claimed to be the successor to the Governorship of Norwich, attracting many recruits from the north, however this claim also annoyed the former government of Norwich in exile. On 5 May Abel Forsyth, still in control of a large army, including the entire Voluntown levy, fled east, raiding Rhode Island. The town of Hopkinton was raided and in the ensuing battle between the local militia and the invaders, the town was razed. The Grand Presidency responded by gathering an army and marching west from Providence to deal with the raids, and would arrive weeks later.
On 6 May Washburn resumed his invasion, marching south on Uncasville. An important town on the Thames River, forces from New London were immediately called north. At the Battle of Uncasville the New London forces would eventually be routed, fleeing back south to defend their capital. Washburn's shoulder would be injured in the battle, causing a wound that would plague him for the rest of his life. Meanwhile on that same day, coalition forces from Hartford began a march north, hoping to cut off Washburn's advance in Connecticut. Under the command of James Hopkins of Middleton the coalition forces arrived at Enfield, where they defeated a small army of soldiers from Massachusetts on 8 May. Three days later on 11 May they arrived in the city of Springfield and began a week long siege. Upon seeing the large army that had been gathered, the Governor of Springfield surrendered and offered to join the invaders in exchange for them leaving Massachusetts. Henry accepted the offer, and his army garrisoned the city while Springfield gathered its army.
The Army of Providence, gathered to end the threat of raids in the west of Rhode Island would continue the chase against Forsyth, securing the port city of Charlestown on 11 May. During this time Forsyth would return west, receiving word that his former governor, Walter Yantic of Norwich, had returned from hiding and was gathering forces in North Stonington. The New London government marched a large force to the city, claiming to welcome Yantic's aid, however once inside they proceeded to massacre Yantic's loyal forces, killing Yantic himself. Forsyth, who was camped outside, called his men to arms, battling into the city. Forsyth escaped with Yantic's fifteen year old son Abraham and a small army of loyal men back east, now in open resistance to the government of New London.
On 12 May Washburn began the Siege of New London, attacking the city from the west. Facing a large force with supplies from the sea, Washburn was forced to begin a long siege. Meanwhile in the east the Army of Providence set out to capture Forsyth and arrive at New London to aid in the siege. From Charlestown they attacked the city of Westerly, which fell three days later, but at a heavy cost. Rather than continue west immediately, the army headed north upon hearing news that Forsyth had appeared somewhere north of the city. On 16 May the engaged at the Battle of Ashaway, but after a day of fighting the engagement looked inconclusive. On 17 May Forsyth offered his surrender and the use of his army, in exchange for Yantic's safe passage. The forces from Providence reluctantly accepted, and allowed Yantic to continue southwest. They surrounded the town of Stonington, and forced its surrender, commandeering its small navy. On 18 May Yantic swore vassalage in exchange for his life and right to continue rule as a vassal. Stonington and Fishers Island would be established as the County of Stonington under the Yantic Dynasty. The soldiers still under Yantic's command were disbanded or captured by Washburn's forces, while Forsyth would be executed on 25 May in Westerly.
The forces from Springfield and Western Massachusetts had been gathered, and along with the coalition forces under Henry, began marching east. Supply lines at Southbridge and other towns were cut off, forcing Washburn to rely on supplies from the east. Several towns were also raided, causing damage all across central Massachusetts. With Worcester now at risk, the first ever Army of Boston was mobilized to enter the city. Although heavily untrained, Worcester had no choice but to gather a force in the city, or risk losing the capital entirely. On 21 May the raised levies in central Massachusetts did battle for the first time against the coalition at the Battle of Auburn. Severally outnumbered, the New England forces were decisively defeated. The coalition now had a clear path to Worcester, beginning a siege the next morning.
Upon receiving news of the battle, Washburn immediately ordered his army north, beginning a forced march north. The war in New London would be continued by the Army of Providence, while the main army rushed back to Massachusetts. On 24 May Washburn arrived on the outskirts of Worcester, but his forces were heavily exhausted, marching as much as twenty five miles in one day. Washburn began a heavy bombardment of the surrounding area with Massachusetts Fire, causing panic among the besieging army. The Army of Boston exited and charged at the enemy, causing heavy casualties, but distracting some of the coalitions best soldiers. Washburn then surrounded the enemy and engaged. By the time Henry was able to react, most of the coalition army was in ruin. Henry himself would be wounded but able to escape. Washburn had suffered heavy casualties and was left with a capital city in ruin, forcing him to stop his war in Connecticut temporarily.
War would not continue until April 1881, when Washburn marched from Worcester into northwest Massachusetts. The previous summer's invasion from Hudson had left the Connecticut region weak and disunited militarily, and Washburn sought next to neutralize one of their greatest allies by capturing Springfield. Washburn's march placed him north of Springfield, allowing him to capture a number of towns in the north of Springfield's territory.
Washburn first arrived at Athol, which had attempted to seize land as far east as Prospect Hill during the Springfield attack. This infuriated Washburn, and without any prior warning, he attacked the town. Late on 25 April 1881 Washburn surrounded the city before charging within. The town was completely caught off guard and was slow to fight back. The town fell that night, with many of its residents killed. Washburn knew this attack would alert Springfield, and the next day marched out of the ruins of Athol to the southwest.
Washburn marched quickly and attacked Millers Falls two days later. At this time the towns of Millers Falls, Turners Falls, Greenfield, and Deerfield had all mobilized their levies, meeting in the county's capital of Montague, where they were commanded by Count Arthur Franklin. Franklin intercepted Washburn outside the town on the east bank of the Miller's river. Washburn's cavalry moved up from the east, cutting off the enemy light infantry that carefully crossed in the south part of the town. This cut Franklin's army in two and allowed him to surround Franklin's main infantry, which had already crossed and garrisoned the middle of town. Franklin and his elite infantry was nearly completely cut down, and finally Franklin and a few others would flee, barely managing to wade across the Millers River and run. The majority of Franklin's army, which had been cut off at the crossing, retreated, and eventually regrouped in Montague.
Washburn knew that to proceed he would need to capture the large keep at Montague, which would allow him complete control of the north Connecticut River. The siege however would take quite some time, and Washburn also knew that Springfield's main army would soon be upon him. A large army from Amherst and Springfield proper was gathered, marching north immediately. On 29 May Montague fell to Washburn's forces, and was garrisoned and repaired immediately to prepare for a counter attack. The Springfield force arrived a few days later, stopping several miles south of Montague, and on the east bank of the Connecticut River.
A detachment of Washburn's forces crossed the Deerfield river and marched south parallel to the Connecticut River on its west side, eventually crossing back over at South Deerfield. Moving slowly this force would go undetected by the Springfield force, and on 6 August they had arrived behind enemy lines. A small force from Amherst had been left near the crossing to prevent this from happening, and the detachment ambushed them at South Deerfield, in the ensuing battle the detachment successfully forced themselves across the Connecticut, but the remaining Amherst army managed to flee north, alerting the main Springfield army. The Springfield army now prepared for a possible assault from the south. The detachment however marched east, and attacked the Springfield army from the side.
In the ensuing battle, known as the Battle of Moores, for the town the detachment stopped in before the battle, the Springfield army was largely caught off guard. Washburn's main army marched from Montague, attacking the Springfield army in the front, while elite cavalry and skirmishers attacked the army from the side. The battle would prove a decisive victory for Washburn, with most of the Springfield army being killed or captured. The remaining force fled south toward Springfield, pursued closely by Washburn.
Although Washburn had achieved a decisive victory, the major strongholds of Amherst, Northampton, Holyoke, and Springfield itself still remained resistant.
West of New England in the former state of New York, the nation of Hudson begin to threaten several states on its eastern border. Under the leadership of warlord Grover Cleveland nearly thirty years earlier, the nation of Hudson had first been established after an unsuccessful attempt to take New York City. Now under the command of Governor Lucius Ulster, Hudson had managed to establish control over much of the Hudson River and the Catskill Mountains. On 1 August 1879 Ulster returned to Hudson after an unsuccessful month long siege of West Point, in an attempt to take the lower Hudson into his domain. With a new army gathered from levies in the Catskills, Ulster launched an invasion east on 20 July 1880 hoping to extend his domain to include western Connecticut.
Ulster's forces marched first on Lake Candlewood, the land of George Blumenthal, a vassal of Governor Jonathan Law of New Haven. Law mobilized immediately to combat the invasion, ordering his forces to Danbury. Manpower was low however, after the region had recently been in conflict with Washburn of New England only two months earlier. Blumenthal's local forces attempted to stall the invaders as they approached Danbury. Skirmishers would harass the invaders as they advanced over the next few days, however Ulster's numerical advantage allowed him to continue despite consistent loses. Direct confrontation did not arise until 25 July 1880 when Ulster's men engaged against the locals at the Battle of New Fairfield. Blumenthal was wounded and forced to be carried off, beginning a retreat to Danbury. The blunder in attacking Ulster caused Danbury's local garrison to lose more than half of its professional soldiers, and was now severally undermanned. Ulster pursued, and the next day began the Siege of Danbury.
After seven days Ulster was successful and Danbury fell. The soldiers within were largely slaughtered, as were Blumenthal and his family. Ulster on the other hand suffered little casualties, and garrisoned within the city. With Blumenthal dead the question of his domain's succession was unknown. Assuming Ulster was repulsed, with no direct heirs to inherit, it was thought that the region would fall into the hands of Governor Law, and his to do as he pleased, most likely gifting it to a loyal general or local family. This was however disputed by Maurice Elise of Waterbury, Blumenthal's nearest relative through marriage.
Governor Law ignored Elise's requests, and three days later an army personally under Law's command arrived outside Danbury. Unable to directly combat the city, Law fortified the nearby town of Bethel, attacking soldiers outside the city. Ulster took the bait and led an army outside the city to attack Law, and at began the Battle of Bethel. After several hours of fighting Law called a retreat to the northeast, hoping to regain control of his men and regroup. Ulster, who had suffered a larger amount of casualties, also called a retreat, falling back into Danbury. Overall the battle would be indecisive, but began a long struggle to take the city back.
Law moved into Brookfield, where an uneasy loyalty to the governor still remained. The town's mayor, Charles Still, retained hardly any local forces, having given his levies to Blumenthal for the defense of Danbury. What small amount of personal soldiers still remained were offered to Law, and he would spend the next week there, gathering supplies and reinforcements.
By 14 August Ulster had begun marching on New Haven, followed by Law. They met at the Battle of Lake Zoar, when Ulster's army stopped to camp on the waterside. Law would be defeated in the battle, losing large portions of his army. The remaining army fled back to New Haven. The next day an army under Maurice Elise arrived near the site of the battle, and captured Jonathan Law. Now a prisoner of war under Elise, Law was forced to relinquish all claim to Candlewood, and was allowed to return to New Haven. With the conflict now between himself and Ulster, Elise marched against the invading force,
Upon receiving news of Law's surrender, Ulster returned to Danbury to defend his territory from Eilse. Meanwhile a secondary army, which was originally heading to Danbury from Hudson to protect the area while Ulster marched on New Haven, was directed north into Waterbury's northwest territory. This force would successfully occupy several towns in the area during Elise's war in Danbury, including a decisive victory against local forces at the Battle of Cornwall Bridge.
Elise surrounded Danbury, arriving just after Ulster, which gave Ulster very little time to prepare a defense. After three days of fighting the weary Hudson forces marched outside Danbury and attempted the break the siege, however Elise would personally lead a charge to route this army, causing panic among Ulster's ranks. With the defenses now only partially banned, Elise was eventually able to force himself into the city. Rather than risk being killed within the city, Ulster surrendered and called for negotiations. In exchange for abandoning Candlewood, Ulster called for Elise to cede his northern territory to him, where his secondary army had made heavy progress. Elise agreed, finally able to secure the more wealthy Candlewood region. Elise's family in Waterbury would continue to rule the region for years to come, with Elise's son Thomas eventually being appointed Count of Candlewood under his father's rule.
History by Former States
By the late nineteenth century much of New Hampshire, especially in the central and north regions of the state, held nature oriented beliefs, isolated from Bay beliefs and customs infiltrating the south of New Hampshire. This would eventually lead the the establishment of the Granite Paganism religion around Fraconia. The religion of Granite Paganism, also known commonly as the worship of the Great Stone Face, became a religion centered around the worship and appreciation of nature native to the region, based on the paganism beliefs practiced in New Hampshire. The beliefs and culture of followers of the faith initially varied, with many different variants present, leading to the religion's many names and customs. Overall the central aspect of the religion would be the worship of the Old Man of the Mountain, also known as the Great Stone Face or the Profile, as a deity and protector of the region.
Franconia would become a center of the religion, receiving pilgrimages to the Great Stone Face. In priests of Franconia would eventually give rise to the ancient Great Temple on the Mountain, a holy site of the religion. The religion would spread quickly throughout the White Mountains, becoming the dominant religion in central New Hampshire by the beginning of the twentieth century.
The religion of Granite Paganism, which had originated to the north of the Lakes Region in the White Mountains, had begun to catch on in south by the turn of the twentieth century. The first communities in the Lakes Region to convert to the religion were located northwest of Squam Lake, located on the banks of the Pemigewasset River, spreading slowly through trade and other interactions.
By the 1910's the religion had appeared in Ashland, where the religion had stirred up the local populace, causing many of the state's elite to believe that it was undermining the authority of the government. In 1911 the Count of Ashland, John Caelatus, convened the Council of Green Grove, a meeting of religious leaders in an effort to resolve religious tension in the city. The primary Granite preacher in Ashland invited to the meeting was Sigismund the Elder, a sixty year old man and religious leader who had traveled to Ashland from the town of Ellsworth, who along with several other individuals, attended the meeting. Sigismund was promised safe passage, but upon his arrival he was imprisoned, tried, and buried alive.
The action angered many knights and nobles, who were for the most part in favor of church reform in the town. Several protests broke out in the northwest Lake Regions, causing Governor Gabriel II of Holderness to send a small force west into Ashland to aid his vassal Caelatus. The Holderness force was almost entirely cavalry, which sought to scout ahead of the supply train. While a small portion of the detachment headed south into Ashland, the cavalry continued west hoping to surprise the rebel forces outside the town.
The Granite forces fled into the countryside, setting up fortifications in the fields west of the city. Consisting mainly of peasants or light troops, the rebel forces were armed primarily with pikes and close combat arms. The rebel force also included a small number of volunteers from the Pemigewasset cities, which helped to support the untrained units.
A detachment of Holderness cavalry closed in on the rebels, who upon seeing the vastly superior number of troops, attempted to surrender. The surrender was rejected by the cavalry, who charged upon the Granite forces. Although outnumbered and facing superior forces, the Granite forces had established significant defenses that took advantage of the local terrain and other features. The Granite front lines consisted of several lines of pikes, located up hill to slow down attacking cavalry. The Granite flanks were fortified with several lines of skirmishers. Positioned alongside several natural obstacles, the Holderness forces were unable to attack in many locations.
Initial cavalry charges were unsuccessful, as the charging horsemen were limited by the difficult natural obstacles and fortifications in front of the Granite pikemen. A force was sent to rush a weak flank of the Granite forces, but the horsemen were mired in marshy ground and forced to dismount to continue the attack. A deadly battle ensued between the Granite skirmishers and dismounted cavalry on the Granite flank. Unable to maneuver effectively in the terrain, the Holderness forces took heavy casualties. This caused a general panic among the main force, causing the Holderness forces to retreat into Ashland.
Badly defeated by the Granite forces, the forces from Holderness set up camp on the banks of the Little Squam and awaited reinforcements. Governor Gabriel II appealed to his ally in the south, Lesser King Charles I, ruler of Laconia, for help against the Granite Paganists. At the time of the request Charles I was in a dispute with Governor Nate Green of Meredith, and was unable to dedicate large amounts of troops. Instead a small force was sent by boat, landing in eastern Holderness. The move would cause many in Meredith to vocally support the rebels, angering Laconia further.
Holderness forces, supported by Charles I's detachment, would meet again with the rebels on the west shore of the Little Squam Lake, having caught up to rebel forces approaching Ashland. Suffering from a recent rain storm, the land on the battlefield was very muddy and soaked, causing it hard for the combating forces to maneuver. The rebel charge toward the lake would end up becoming sparse and chaotic, with skirmishers doing the majority of the effective fighting. The rebels did battle for several hours with Holderness' little troops, seizing parts of the lake side, although holding loosely. Holderness would respond by marching its main army from Ashland to flank the rebels, launching an assault against them from the west, leaving their backs to the lake.
The rebel army would collapse in the ensuing battle, with heavy casualties being suffered on both sides. Remaining rebel forces would be captured and imprisoned in Ashland for several days, with many being drown in the Little Squam Lake as a form of execution. Having suffered a heavy defeat, the rebels would be unable to launch any more major attacks. The leaders of the Graftonite movement in the south would send a delegation to Holderness in August of 1912, hoping to end hostilities. In the ensuing peace the Granite Paganism authority would be ousted from Holderness and Ashland, with its leadership fleeing to Plymouth several miles north. Granite Paganism would also be banned in the Lakes Region by many, although its influence would continue to spread south, despite its condemnation by authorities.
Meredith Bay War
In September 1912 the conflict between Laconia and Meredith would officially boil over into an all out war. A five year cold war and naval arms race had propelled both powers to create an extensive naval arsenal, developing several popular techniques later adopted across the Lakes. The primary ship used by the Meredith navy was known as the darag, a small wooden vessel propelled by sail and oar, based loosely on ships used in Scotland and nearby areas. About the size of a galley, Meredith darags primrily utilized sail, allowing crew members to focus on returning fire against the enemy. Meredith also possessed a number of fore-and-aft rig ships, usually of one or two sails, with the most abundant being the cutter, the ketch, and the yawl.
The Laconian navy consisted of many river boats, of northern design, which could be used on the lakes and rivers of the region for easy mobility. Although smaller, slower, and less advanced than others, these ships were able to transport large quantities of supplies, making them a valuable resource. The Laconian navy also held large quantities of cogs and transport boats, capable of moving troops over short distances, which would also be used in battle for support.
On 19 September the Laconian navy under the command of Thomas Hobbs, in command of two paddle steamers, three privateers, and five galleys, opened fire on a Meredith force of seven galley and two darags. Trapped on the eastern edge of Meredith Bay the Meredith forces suffered a heavy defeat, losing four galleys, and having another captured. The Laconians would lose two galleys themselves, as well as a privateer ship, but suffering less overall casualties. Known as the Battle of Spindle Point, the decisive naval victory would begin the Meredith Bay War between the two powers.
The Meredith Bay War would primarily be fought on sea, with the few land offensives ending mostly indecisively. The first major offensive on land was led by Baron James Smith of Laconia as part of the Pickerel Offensive, a plan to push north along the corridor between Paugus Bay and Winnisquam Lake, eventually capturing Meredith Center and Wickwas Lake. Such an offensive would create a large bulge in Meredith territory, cutting off part of their supply lines, and granting the Laconians a second route into the city of Meredith itself. At the same time a second advance would be led parallel to the Meredith Bay coast, assisted by naval assets, pushing surrounding the city.
The Pickerel Offensive began on 3 November, with Smith's army reaching within one mile of Pickerel Pond along the eastern coast of Winnisquam Lake. The Meredith forces responded, with Count Steven Brothers leading an army raised in Meredith Center, attacking Smith on the shore. The battle was mostly fought between each side's skirmishers, with little casualties on either side, and by night fall each side had fallen back after the first day of the Battle of the Corridor being unsuccessful.
The following morning Laconian riverboats departed from the city to Smith's campsite, bringing much needed supplies. Catching sight of this however, the Meredith navy launched a daring attack from the north, using the small navy they had stationed in Meredith Center to assault the supply ships. In the ensuing Battle of Winnisquam the Laconian forces suffered heavy casualties, eventually falling back. The Meredith navy would then proceed to bombard land forces on the shore, turning the tide of battle that day. A direct order would be sent by Henry Wentworth, head admiral of the Laconian navy, ordering the largely superior Laconian Winnisquam Fleet under James Paul Acworth to assault the Meredith forces while they were distracted. Waiting until sundown, Acworth opened fire, completely annihilating the Meredith navy on the lake, ending the battle in a Laconian victory.
On land the Meredith navy and land attack had shattered the Laconian army under Smith, causing them to fall back and await reinforcements. Such an opportunity arrived when Laconian forces from Pendleton were diverted to the southeast. The Pendleton army marched toward Pickerel from there, surprising the Meredith forces. Surrounded on two sides, the Meredith retreated north, but not before killing a large quantity of Laconian forces.
Also from Pendleton, on 18 December 1912 a large army departed toward Meredith, marching parallel to the Meredith Bay in order to complete the second phase of the Laconian plan. Bogged down by poor weather and heavy resistance, the Laconian army made little progress. Nicknamed the Snow Trail Offensive, forces from both sides would spend the next two months battling along the coast. By 20 February the Laconians had marched within a few miles of the city of Meredith, but lacked the proper supplies to launch an attack or move closer. Meanwhile on the water the Laconian navy still battled for access into the city's harbor.
Hoping to draw Meredith forces away from the Laconian advance in the south of the city, Laconia transported a large army from Pendleton to the Meredith Neck, the territory on the north and east side of Meredith Bay. The Laconians made quick gains initially, raiding Meredith villages on the far side of the bay. Raiding became essential, since at times supplies to the other side of the bay would be cut off by Meredith naval assets, or forced to be dropped to the south and marched by land to the front lines. Meredith moved forces away from the city to the east, hoping to stop the advance up the neck. Consisting mainly of cavalry, at the Battle of the Neck the Meredith forces ran down the Laconians, scoring a decisive victory against the invaders. The Laconians would be forced as pushed to the coast, fleeing by boat back into friendly territory. A second attempt to land forces in the Neck would be attempted, but ultimately they too would be pushed back, fleeing to Spindle Point.
With reinforcements lacking from campaigns in the Neck and elsewhere, the Laconian forces of the Snow Trail Offensive would be pushed back, never again able to reach as far toward the city of Meredith. Remaining land forces would instead be concentrated in the west, or toward preserving the front line as it remained. Following the failure of the Neck campaign, the Laconians would achieve their next victory at the Battle of Mile Point, a completely naval victory at the hands of Admiral Wentworth. In command of Hobbs' remaining squadron, as well a detachment of ten riverboats and four ketches, Wentworth combated the Meredith navy directly. Wentworth would suffer minor loses, making the battle a decisive and important victory.
In the west the Laconians found similar victory in the push toward Meredith Center. On 25 March 1913 Smith's army met the Meredith army at the Battle of Pickerel, the culmination of a several month long campaign to push up the corridor. Fighting primarily on the southwest and south shores of the pond, Smith's army encountered the Meredith forces fortified deep along the shores of the pond and surrounding forest. Smith would achieve a small victory, after seven days of clearing the southern edge of the pond. On 4 April Smith met up with a secondary army dropped to the southwest of him by boat, and together the contingent marched west toward Fort Parliament, a small wooden fortification guarding the entrance into Meredith Center by sea. The ensuing month long siege would end in Smith's retreat from the region, unable to effectively penetrate the north. Although heavily battered, the fort would survive the attack.
Ultimately the decisive sea battles would convince Meredith to pursue negotiations, whereas the land offensives mostly resulted in a stalemate. At the Treaty of Pitchwood the Governorship of Meredith agreed to minor territorial concessions and a large reparation to Laconia. Despite a loss of prestige for Meredith and the establishment of Laconia as the dominant naval power, the treaty would mostly end in status quo.
War of the Lakes